Saturday, 21 June 2014

Norfolk moths: Rockland St. Peter garden, 20 June 2014

It might have been about the shortest night of the year, with the trap only on for six hours or so, but it yielded the best catch I have had from this Skinner trap. After a warm, sunny day, skies remained clear for most of the night, with temperatures of 13.2°C at 22h30 and 10.0°C when I turned off the MV light at 04h00. Calm, with the hint of a light S air. A last quarter moon, with the new moon a week off.

There was still almost no activity by 23h00. The trap was almost dead, except for a Aphomia sociella Bee Moth on the wall alongside. I had painted a bit of sugar around the garden, but only a few Marbled Minor spp. had come in. I anticipated a quiet night. But by 03h45 the trap was abuzz with insects attempting to escape. It took me the remainder of the morning to identify and log all the moths, and even then I had to pass over several other pugs, though not Green Pug an easy call! The more unusual species included a Wood Carpet (noticeably larger than the 2 Common Carpets and with almost no black wavy bisecting line in the outer white band of the forewing; confirmed by Jon Clifton), a Miller resting on the wall, Bird's Wing, a couple of Large Nutmegs (confirmed by Andy Mackay) and a Beautiful Hook-tip on the side of the trap – all nationally local species. Highlights for me were 2 Privet, 2 Elephant and a single Poplar Hawk-moth.  (I only got a quick photo before it left & will post).

Privet Hawk-moth Sphinx ligustri      

Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor      

Bird's Wing Dypterygia scabriuscula

Large Nutmeg Apamea anceps      

Miller Acronicta leporina      

Green Pug Pasiphila rectangulata      

Wood Carpet Epirrhoe rivata      

Macro-moths (188 moths of 41 spp.):-

Hepialus humuli Ghost Moth 1
Idaea biselata Small Fan-footed Wave 1
Idaea aversata Riband Wave 16
Epirrhoe alternata Common Carpet 2
Epirrhoe rivata Wood Carpet 1
Eulithis pyraliata Barred Straw 3
Pasiphila rectangulata Green Pug 3
Lomaspilis marginata Clouded Border 6
Biston betularia Peppered Moth 1
Peribatodes rhomboidaria Willow Beauty 2
Alcis repandata Mottled Beauty 10
Cabera pusaria Common White Wave 3
Lomographa temerata Clouded Silver 3
Sphinx ligustri Privet Hawk-moth 2
Laothoe populi Poplar Hawk-moth 1
Deilephila elpenor Elephant Hawk-moth 2
Phalera bucephala Buff-tip 11
Eilema lurideola Common Footman 3
Spilosoma luteum Buff Ermine 6
Agrotis clavis Heart and Club 1
Agrotis exclamationis Heart and Dart 3
Axylia putris Flame 20
Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder 8
Xestia triangulum Double Square-spot 19
Lacanobia oleracea Bright-line Brown-eye 5
Mythimna ferrago Clay 2
Mythimna pallens Common Wainscot 2
Acronicta leporina Miller 1
Dypterygia scabriuscula Bird's Wing 1
Rusina ferruginea Brown Rustic 3
Apamea monoglypha Dark Arches 4
Apamea anceps Large Nutmeg 2
Oligia strigilis agg. Marbled Minor agg. 8
Hoplodrina alsines Uncertain 9
Hoplodrina blanda Rustic 2
Caradrina morpheus Mottled Rustic 8
Diachrysia chrysitis Burnished Brass 1
Abrostola tripartita Spectacle 1
Laspeyria flexula Beautiful Hook-tip 1
Hypena proboscidalis Snout 8
Zanclognatha tarsipennalis Fan-foot 2

Micro-moths (12 moths identified, of 3 spp.):-

Tortrix viridana Green Oak Tortrix 1
Eurrhypara hortulata Small Magpie 10
Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1


  1. Megatrapping night - this is why you do it. Just love those hawk-moths. Did you tick off the Privet Hawk threat display?

  2. The Privet Hawks did a weak display, but we didn't want to make them fly in case they got eaten! Afraid to out out the trap now - it takes way too much time!